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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Fraud case in York


3:41pm 13th January 2012

A joint investigation carried out by City of York Council and the Department of Works and Pensions has helped to tackle a case of fraud in York.

Jessica Sparnenn (aged 30) of Victoria Way, York, was yesterday (12 January) sentenced to community-based penalty of 63 hours unpaid work and to pay £75 court costs for claiming £8239.52 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Ms Sparnenn received benefits on the basis of being a single parent living with her children. However, it transpired that her partner had been living with her for 11-months.

Ms Sparnenn failed to inform either City of York Council or the Department for Work and Pensions that her partner, who was working full time, had come to live with her.

She accepted £4984.05 in housing and council tax benefit from City of York Council and £3255.47 in Income Support and Jobseekers’ Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions that she was not entitled to.

A spokesperson for Veritau, who investigate fraud on behalf of the council, said:

“It’s a criminal offence to not declare a change of circumstances to the relevant authorities.  The residents of York should not have to tolerate or accept unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of the benefit system.

“City of York Council and the Department for Work and Pensions worked together to achieve a positive result and we encourage anyone with any information regarding potential fraudulent activity to contact us on 01904 552935 or fraud@york.gov.uk.”

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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

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